Legal wasteland: Bethesda secures Fallout MMO rights

Monday, 9th January 2012 22:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Bethesda parent company Zenimax will pay out $2 million to Interplay as part of a settlement returning all Fallout MMO rights to the Fallout 3 publisher.

The settlement renders Interplay’s Fallout MMO license null and void, returning the right to develop a Fallout MMO back to Bethesda, and effectively shelving the Interplay and Masthead-developed Fallout Online for good. Interplay cannot develop any further games based on the Fallout brand or IP.

“While we strongly believe in the merits of our suits, we are pleased to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation while completely resolving all claims to the Fallout IP. Fallout is an important property of ZeniMax and we are now able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others’ legal claims,” Zenimax CEO Robert Altman said, rekindling hopes for a Bethesda-developed MMO.

The agreement allows Interplay to continue to sell Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics until December 2013, but after that, rights to sell and market the three games returns to Bethesda. Zenimax will pay Interplay $2 million, but both sides will shoulder their own legal costs.

The legal dispute between the two companies came about when Bethesda claimed Interplay had failed to meet the terms of its Fallout MMO license agreement – namely, that it would secure at least $30 million in funding and begin development by April 2009.



  1. AHA-Lambda

    oh wow, didn’t see this coming to be honest, i figured interplay would keep them =/

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    Now they can put all their energy into sueing everybody else.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Strandli

    Bethesda and an MMO?
    Gentlemen… We might be witnessing the perfect storm for the most broken game to ever be developed.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Edo

    Good…now they can focus on Fallout 4.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight


    They are just securing the Fallout brand which means no one but Bathesda may work on the title.This doesn’t necessarily mean Bathesda is working on a Fallout MMO. Interplay is done for. I did say Bathesda would win.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Optimaximal

    Bethesda didn’t win… They reached a settlement.

    Of course, as both sides are planning to shoulder all of their own costs, who knows how much money that actually leaves Interplay given the length of time this has been dragging on.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight


    By winning I meant they would gain the rights of Fallout. Most likely Interplay will be going Bankrupt.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    @6, yeah, that’s a curious one, I had presumed Interplay settled in order to pay off its debts. The 2 mil must cover what they owe I suppose.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Talkar

    Please don’t make a Fallout MMO! It would completely ruin the franchise even more. xD

    #9 3 years ago
  10. freedoms_stain

    The idea of a Fallout MMO does seem a bit fucked up tbh.

    A post Apocalyptic world with extremely low population density. Doesn’t really scream massively multiplayer to me.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Christopher Jack

    TES MMO would be better but it can work with Fallout too.

    @10, It’s not so much the scenario that’d be perfect for an MMO, it’s just how the game plays that’d suit an MMO, the mechanics, the scripts, the factions, it just screams MMO, those who can’t see that must be very short sighted. No idea why Bethesda’s never added at least co-op for their games, they never needed them to have advanced interactions into the hosts world, just combat & other basic actions, they don’t need to start conversations.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    I think that’s a vast exageration ChrisJack.

    Very few things about Fallout ever “screamed MMO”. If you look at the Fallout shooters, then I might agree with you on the first one, but to me that was more like a “Bethesda-tries-to-make-a-Fallout-game”-shootoff. The second one was closer to the broader nature of the old ones, and that’s never going to be a multiplayer thing.

    The old games are classics because they made an awesome world that mainly existed due to tightly designed locations (like the space shuttle on the bridge, or the oil rig base) and stories that were all about you.

    It was a deeply introverted singleplayer experience that gripped people so hard because the world was unlike anything out there. It was like Mad Max, but at the same time it had a lot of story that was either interesting or pretty extreme.

    Once you let everyone walk all over that, with the story and the world being delivered through one-liners and assembly line quest synopsiis, I don’t see what’s left.

    And you felt like a person, not a drone. If you’re looking at armies of Lordaeron or the stormtroopers of the Empire, then your role is that of a pawn, and that works for an MMO. I don’t see that in Fallout. The Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave were always meant to be used by the player, as I see it. They were never meant to be liked.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Onaka

    Looks like they’re not content to ruin Fallout as a single player game, now there’s zero hope of a good Fallout MMO! Great job Bethesda. I wish I could tear out the tracheas of everyone involved in this.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Talkar

    I hate that Bethesda now has all the rights to everything Fallout, since they did a pretty decent job in ruining it with Fallout 3 (New Vegas is a lot closer to the originals), i’m happy that at least there won’t be a Fallout MMO now. As freedoms_stain says, it wouldn’t make sense to be in a world, where a nuclear war has eradicated almost all life, and the world is now roaming with mutated animals, and the masters creations, with only a handful of humans left. Well a handful of humans, and then the million of others just like you right over there!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Edo

    Look at all the cryers :) .

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    I don’t care anymore.

    I had my small little fix with Fallout: New Vegas. I just hope that Bethesda will continue to give OBSIDIAN rights to make a game by previous Fallout team that know that universe and know how to make it right at least at the RPG standpoint. Crappy engine problems Obsidian won’t fix anyway.

    Interplay is dead too, so really, they both ruined the franchise in the end.

    the only thing that i wish for Bethesda is that Todd Howard must go. SKYRIM is a mess, fallout is a mess and etc.

    Fallout MMORPG? It’s a profit deal. Of course it does not make sense to make a mmo where you kill 10/10 mutated mobs, but it’s a profit deal.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. YoungZer0

    Thank god. That’s something the world really doesn’t need: Another MMO.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. IL DUCE

    Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a Fallout MMO although I prefer the Lone Wanderer vibe from Fallout 3…New Vegas had more options for companions so that was cool too…

    Anything that gives me more Fallout is fine by me, so I’m content sitting here waiting for Fallout 4…

    And since I wasn’t “tainted” by the originals, Fallout 3 is one of the best games I’ve ever played imho, as is Skyrim…

    #18 3 years ago
  19. papahuff

    Hey, they are right “war never changes” they just ended it w/ 2 mill usd

    #19 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.